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Mystics at Mercury final score: Washington’s struggles in the second half lead to 77–64 defeat

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Mystics score second-fewest points of season, crumble in their third straight loss.

Washington Mystics v Phoenix Mercury
After going off for 24 points against Las Vegas on Tuesday, Ariel Atkins struggled in Phoenix, scoring seven points on 0-for-9 shooting from three.
Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

In the finale of a three-game road trip, the Washington Mystics (8–13, 3–9 away) fell to the Phoenix Mercury (12–10), suffering a deflating loss, 77–64.

Brittney Griner became just the third player in WNBA history to notch 700 blocks within seconds of tip-off. However, Griner’s paint presence didn’t deter Myisha Hines-Allen (10 points) from attacking inside. Four first-quarter turnovers for the hosts helped Washington to a four-point lead at the break.

Both teams made their first two attempts of the quarter, going a minute and a half without missing a shot. A 9–1 run and 20 first-half points from Griner weren’t enough for Phoenix to pull ahead of the Mystics, as the away side never trailed in the second. Washington led by as many as 12 points, but a Sophie Cunningham jumper at the buzzer cut the deficit to five at the half.

At the 4:52 mark of the third, Phoenix took its first lead since Brianna Turner scored the night’s first two points. Neither outfit shot the ball well from behind the arc — Phoenix was 4-for-12, while Washington went 4-for-17 — but the Mercury’s superb interior play helped the team from the desert to a 60–53 advantage after 30 minutes in the books.

Another pedestrian offensive outing — 27-percent from the field, 21-percent from three — doomed the Mystics, as Tina Charles again was one of just two double-digit players in the box score; the 2012 MVP logged 17 points. For the Mercury, Griner led the way with 30, eight shy of her career-high, and Skylar Diggins-Smith, who was playing on a sore ankle, added 17.

The Mystics return home on Sunday to face the Seattle Storm. Tip-off is at 3 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN.